Research findings

The HighFire Risk Project



Citation McRae, R. & Sharples, J. (2011). A conceptual model for assessing the risk posed by extreme bushfires. Australian Journal of Emergency Management 26(2), 47-53.

A conceptual framework for assessing the risk posed by extreme bushfires.

Author(s) Rick McRae;Jason Sharples;Stephen Wilkes;Alan Walker.
Abstract Bushfires are serious environmental problems that consistently result in loss of life and property, and further impact the cultural, economic, social and political stability of the community. Consequently, much effort has been directed at devising tools to assist in assessing the level of bushfire risk. Further effort has been directed at implementing policy and planning devices that mitigate the risks posed by bushfire, and that best communicate to the public the level of bushfire risk, and the measures they should take to optimise their chances of survival in a certain bushfire situation. However, traditional methods have been found to perform poorly when used to assess the risk posed by the most extreme fires. To better elucidate the bushfire risk problem and to understand where improvements might be made to risk management practices, we propose and discuss a conceptual framework for assessing bushfire risk. The framework formally recognises that bushfire risk evolves in a manner that is dependent on the size of the fire and the processes to which it is susceptible. As such, the paper is designed to stimulate discussion amongst researchers and practitioners that deal with bushfire. The framework is based upon transitions between five fire size or severity classes. In this respect the framework directly addresses one of the issues raised by the Royal Commission into the 2009 Victorian bushfires.
Keywords ---
Access Download PDF.